December 31, 2014

Closed meeting investigator hired

As published in The Erin Advocate

Town Council has agreed to engage John Maddox of JGM Consulting as its Closed Meeting Investigator, to replace Norm Gamble who is retiring.

Maddox had already been hired by Wellington County, which agreed to pay the $300 retainer for any local municipality that wants to use his services. Erin will still have to pay $100 per hour, plus expenses, for any investigations that are held.

Mayor Al Alls, on the advice of other county councillors, recommended against using the services of the Ontario Ombudsman’s Office, which could provide the service at no charge. Investigations in Erin have been rare.

The Municipal Act allows any person to request an investigation of whether a municipality or local board has followed the rules about going into a session that is closed to the public and media. In general, closed sessions are allowed for council to get legal advice, to deal with staff issues or discuss matters about an identifiable individual.

Maddox has 30 years of experience as a municipal CAO and a Regional Director with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Since retiring in 2006, he has been retained by more than 50 municipalities as a Closed Meeting Investigator.